Monday, August 8, 2011
Summer Panzanella, a recipe
It's the best feeling to step outside, head straight to the garden, pick a few tomatoes and some basil tips, dig up a small red onion and start to work on a summer panzanella.
Panzanella--slightly adapted from Gourmet.com
tomatoes-1.5 pounds, chopped into small pieces (I used a mix of Paul Robeson, Japanese Black Trifle, Orange Short Vine, and Orange Banana but you can use up cherry tomatoes or whatever you have that is ripe and ready.)
3/4 cup of chopped basil (I used Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil and Genovese)
1-2 garlic cloves ( I used this year's green garlic)
day old bread (in this case, 3/4 of a loaf of golden flax bread)
fresh mozzarella (or feta)--optional
white balsamic vinegar (I like the Trader Joe's brand)
a good quality olive oil
For this panzanella, you'll want to use your favorite loaf of bread. It needs to be a day or two old to soak up the dressing so prepare in advance if you are planning to bake your own. I used 3/4 of a loaf of golden flax seed bread that I picked up at our local farmer's market. Chop the bread into cubes and place in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 TB of olive oil and add some freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Stir and bake for 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
While your croutons are baking, chop your tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Chop your fresh mozzarella into cubes. Chop your basil. Thinly slice a red onion. Set these aside.
To make the dressing, mince a garlic clove (or two) and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to make a paste. A mortar and pestle works great here. Next, add 1/3 cup of olive oil and 3 TB of white balsamic vinegar. Whisk together.
When croutons are ready, toss them into the dressing and give them a stir. Add tomatoes, cheese, onion slices, and basil. Season to taste. For best flavor, let the flavors meld for 30 minutes or a little less if you're really hungry. :)
I wish I had a photograph of this beautiful summer salad in our handmade pottery bowl but I made it after nightfall and we ate most of it. Hope you understand.